Sampling the Flavours of Grenada
The sheer range of cuisine available on the beautiful island of Grenada appeals to every gourmet food enthusiast. Needless to say, Grenada is not called the “Spice Island” for no reason. Virtually all the food is grown in the fertile soil of this Caribbean island, or it is caught in the water. The diversity of ingredients on offer, combined with the island’s cosmopolitan history and culture, makes for an extremely eclectic culinary experience.
Below we have listed some food related sights on the Spice Island, which lovers of good Caribbean cuisine simply can not afford to miss. Whether it is widely available throughout Grenada, or offered exclusively in speciality shops, the island fare is truly unforgettable and unique.
The Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Plant
This processing plant is among the island’s biggest nutmeg processing factories. On a tour of the plant, you can observe workers selecting, grading and packaging the nutmeg. After the tour, visit the “Nutmeg World” store for clothing, spices and other locally sourced items to buy as a memento of your trip. One product from this store that is always popular with tourists is a local jute bag, which can be customised with the words of your choosing.
The Rum Distillery on River Antoine
A trip to River Rum will astonish you, as you observe rum production being carried out in the way it has been for centuries. The distillery is privately owned and is the oldest working water-powered distillery both on Grenada, and throughout the whole of the Caribbean. Quite possibly, River Rum is the finest and strongest white rum on offer in the Caribbean, and it is certainly the most famous. Tourists should buy a few rum bottles to enjoy back in their hotel, or to take home with them. Here’s a video showing part of a tour of this distillery. Unfortunately, the sound quality is a bit patchy, but it does give a good overview of how the distillery works:
Grenada Chocolate Company
Every chocolate aficionado will appreciate the Chocolate Company in Grenada. Firstly, you get to tour a real cocoa plantation, where you can see the plants bearing the godly beans. Then, you can familiarise yourself with the process that goes into producing the best chocolate in the Caribbean. Prepare to witness the newly harvested, naturally grown cocoa beans being fermented and dried, and the creation of cocoa bars and cocoa powder.
The chocolate is manufactured in small batches, with the focus being on quality rather than quantity. Certainly, tourists should not be disappointed, because this chocolate won the Chocolate Academy Award in 2008, and it was awarded the Dark Chocolate Silver Medal in 2011.
Other Food on the Island
In Grenada, roti is commonly available, and purchasing it off a street seller is a must for all tourists. Sample the national dish, oil-down, which is a stew based on breadfruit that utilises a bouillon blend of saffron, coconut milk, seasoning and water. Invariably, Grenada restaurants and hotels feature interesting soup on their menus, like pumpkin and callaloo. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a tropical island, there are many fruits to choose from as well, including the star shaped carambola and the spiky soursop.
Due the island’s size, beef is in short supply and pork is only served on special occasions. Thus, tourists should prepare themselves to sample some more exotic meat, like goat or iguana. Fear not though. If less conventional meat does not appeal to you, there is still plenty of fish and chicken available. Salted cod, conch steak and jerk chicken are popular entrées, and you will discover that cinnamon, mace, clove and turmeric are liberally used in local dishes.
You can wash all of this down with either coconut milk, fruit juice, cocoa tea produced from local spices and beans, or with some nutmeg and rum punch. For dessert, there is an array of fresh fruit on offer, along with sweet potato pudding and (if you want to try a real local speciality) nutmeg ice-cream. From the hotels, to the restaurants, to the market stalls, to the street food, there is something to tickle the taste buds of everyone in the food lover’s paradise that is Grenada.
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